Invented by Hung Tat CHEN, Kwan Wai To, Wenbo Gu

The market for wearable devices in healthcare has experienced significant growth in recent years. These devices, ranging from smartwatches to fitness trackers, have revolutionized the way individuals monitor and manage their health. With the advancement of technology, wearables have become more sophisticated, offering a wide range of features and capabilities. One of the key drivers of the market for wearable devices in healthcare is the increasing focus on preventive healthcare. Wearables allow individuals to track various health parameters such as heart rate, sleep patterns, and physical activity levels. By monitoring these metrics, users can identify potential health issues early on and take necessary steps to prevent them. This proactive approach to healthcare has gained popularity among consumers, leading to a surge in demand for wearable devices. Another factor contributing to the growth of the market is the rising prevalence of chronic diseases. Conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity require continuous monitoring and management. Wearable devices equipped with sensors and algorithms can provide real-time data on vital signs, glucose levels, and calorie intake, enabling individuals to better manage their conditions. These devices also allow healthcare professionals to remotely monitor patients, reducing the need for frequent hospital visits and improving overall patient care. Furthermore, the integration of wearable devices with telemedicine has further expanded their market potential. Telemedicine allows patients to consult with healthcare providers remotely, eliminating the need for in-person visits. Wearable devices can transmit vital health data to healthcare professionals, enabling them to make accurate diagnoses and provide appropriate treatment plans. This integration has become particularly crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it reduces the risk of exposure and ensures continuity of care. In terms of the method behind wearable devices for healthcare, advancements in sensor technology and data analytics have played a crucial role. Sensors embedded in wearables can capture various physiological signals, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. These sensors are becoming increasingly accurate and reliable, providing users with precise health data. Additionally, data analytics algorithms can interpret the collected data, providing meaningful insights and personalized recommendations to users. The market for wearable devices in healthcare is highly competitive, with numerous companies vying for market share. Established tech giants, such as Apple and Samsung, have entered the space with their smartwatches, while startups are focusing on niche areas such as sleep monitoring and mental health tracking. As the market continues to evolve, we can expect to see further innovations in wearable technology, including the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning for more accurate health predictions and personalized recommendations. In conclusion, the market for wearable devices in healthcare is experiencing rapid growth due to the increasing focus on preventive healthcare, the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, and the integration with telemedicine. The method behind these devices relies on advancements in sensor technology and data analytics. As the market continues to expand, wearable devices have the potential to revolutionize healthcare by empowering individuals to take control of their health and enabling healthcare professionals to provide more personalized and efficient care.

The Hung Tat CHEN, Kwan Wai To, Wenbo Gu invention works as follows

A wearable (100) device for healthcare, and method of using the device.” The wearable device (100), which is worn on the finger (105) to measure the health data, can be selected from heart rate, blood saturation, and heart rate variability. The sleep quality can then be recorded and monitored based on the data collected. The wearable device (100) can detect disorders such as obstructive sleeping apnea. The wearable device (101) may include an optical sensing (101) that is coupled to or embedded into a main body (103), which includes a visible emitter, IR emitter and a detector (543). These components are arranged in a longitudinal direction along the finger (105). The wearable device (100) monitors the heart rate based on the detected light signal. “When the heart rate exceeds an adaptive threshold, heart rate and blood saturation are both monitored.

Background for Wearable device for Healthcare and Method thereof

At present, technology that is integrated into various health tools has become a popular trend in the healthcare industry. It is being used more and more frequently. Wearable devices fall into this category. Wearable devices are a growing category of technology that provides a wealth of health information that consumers can use to make informed decisions about their own health and the care they receive. Wearable devices that have health tools are able to measure heart rate, heart rate variability, blood oxygenation, temperature, motion and/or biological information via noninvasive methods.

In one application, health tools can be integrated into a smart bracelet or watch. The smart bracelet or watch is large and may not be comfortable to wear for a long time. In another field, the pulse oximeter is used to measure the health of the user by measuring the data at the fingertip. The pulse oximeter is much lighter than the smart-watch or bracelet because it’s worn on the fingertip. It is not comfortable and stable to wear for a long time on the fingertip. This is especially true during sleep.

As such, it is necessary to have a device that can be used over a long period of time to measure health data and monitor the status of the patient without causing discomfort or inconvenience to the patient.

Now, I will refer in detail to the embodiments and the present invention.” The invention will be described with these examples, but it is understood that the descriptions are not meant to limit the invention. “The invention includes alternative, modifications and equivalents that are covered by the appended claims.

Furthermore in the following detailed explanation of the invention, many specific details are provided to give a thorough understanding. A person of ordinary skill will recognize that the invention can be implemented without these details. Other times, well-known methods, procedures and components have been left out of detail so as to not unnecessarily obscure the present invention. The present invention aims to provide an wearable device that monitors the health status of its user.

The following embodiments describe an example wearable device that is carried by the user to measure physiological information. In one embodiment, a wearable device is worn at least partially on a portion of the body of the user to monitor their health status. In one embodiment, the wearable devices is worn at least partially on a finger or digit of a limb in order to measure physiological information such as heart rate, blood oxygenation, photoplethysmography signal (PPG), and/or stress. In one embodiment, the digits of a leg can be a finger on a hand, or a small toe on a shoe (also referred to herein as a finger, or finger, or toe). In one embodiment, the wearable is worn at least partially on the finger roots to monitor user health. In one embodiment, the wearable is worn at least in part on the proximal finger phalange. In another preferred embodiment the wearable device can be worn on an index finger of a user for a comfortable and easy wear.

Figure 1 shows a schematic of a wearable 100 according to one embodiment. The wearable device 100 can be of any shape, as long as the requirement that it be able to be worn around the finger is met.

In one embodiment, a wearable device 100 has a main body with an open loop to accommodate different finger sizes. The wearable 100 further comprises a sensor 103 attached to the main 103 and operable to sense biological information from the user, when the wearable 100 is worn by a digit (e.g. a finger 105) and/or in other similar positions. The figure 1 embodiment is only for illustration purposes and does not limit the wearable device’s structure or wearing method. In one embodiment, sensor 101 comprises an optical sensor comprising a first emitter, second emitter, and at least one detector. In one embodiment, a wavelength of IRlight generated by the first emitter falls within a range between 850 and 1000nm. The wavelength of visible light generated by the second emitter falls within 750 to 600nm. The first/second emitter emits first/second lights to a finger blood vessel and the light detector can detect the first/second reflected light. In one embodiment, it may be a blood vessel of a digit. For example, the princeps-policis artery that runs along the thumb or index finger. It could also be the digital arteries along other fingers. First and/or Second light signals that contain health information about the user are used to calculate health data, such as a PPG, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, and heart rate variability. In one embodiment, heart rate and heart-rate variability are calculated based on PPG signals.

In one embodiment, the principle behind the sensor 101 to measure the blood oxygenation is based upon the absorption of first and second lights by oxygenated and non-oxygenated hemoglobin. Oxygenated haemoglobin allows more light to pass and absorbs more light. Deoxygenated or reduced hemoglobin allows more first-light to pass. The IN2/IN1 is calculated based on the first/second reflected light by the finger 105 blood vessel and detected by a light detector. IN1 represents intensity of first light detected and IN2 represents intensity of second light detected. The first light can also be used to detect the heart rate of the user and the variability in heart rate. The intensity of the first light reflected from the blood vessels of finger 105 will change with the volume of blood inside the vessel. The blood volume in the blood vessels will change slightly with each heartbeat. This will affect the intensity of first light detected by the detector. The heart rate and the variability of heart rate can be calculated based on the variations in the intensity of the first light signal. In an alternative embodiment the first light emitter and the second light emitter are integrated into a single unit that can emit first and secondary light depending on a signal. The sensor 101 is shown in different embodiments for illustration purposes. However, the lighting arrangement including the emitter and detector are not limited to the examples.

Figure 2 shows the structure of a human hand normal 200. FIG. FIG. 2 is described with FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. The main blood vessel of the hand is near the lateral sides of the finger 200, with a slight offset from the palmar surface. A wearable device has traditionally been worn on the tip of a finger 214 because the capillaries are plentiful and the biological data can be detected relatively easily. As mentioned previously, wearing the wearable device at the fingertip does not provide a comfortable, convenient, or stable way to monitor the health status of the subject over a long period. It is therefore preferred to wear the device 100 in the middle or proximal part of the finger. This will make it more convenient, comfortable and stable for extended use. In comparison to the fingertip, the capillaries in the middle and proximal parts of the finger are less. The sensor 101 should be positioned close to the main blood vessel (211) in order to obtain more physiological data from the blood vessels. In one embodiment, sensor 101 is placed near an artery on the finger to detect health information. It is important that the wearable device 100 has the sensor 101 positioned close to the main artery 211 during operation to ensure accuracy.

Figure 3 illustrates that the skin color on the palmar 322 of hands is usually lighter than the dorsal 321 surface of the human hand. The skin color of the dorsal hand surface 321 is more variable between people and races. Melanin, as is well known, is the main factor that determines skin color. The darker the color of the skin is the greater the amount melanin. During operation, light is partially absorbed into the skin by melanin. The rate of light absorption will also increase as the amount of melanin increases in the skin. Darker skin will absorb more light as it passes through. On the dorsal 321 surface of the finger more light is absorbed compared to the palmar surface 322 and the rate of absorption varies between people. The wavelengths of first and second light also affect the absorption rate. In one embodiment, the melanin absorbs more of the second light with a wavelength between 850 and 1000nm than the first light which has a wavelength within 600-750nm. According to the above description, blood oxygen saturation can be calculated using the absorption characteristics for oxygenated and non-oxygenated hemoglobin. Due to the uneven and uncertain absorption of first and second light on the dorsal 321 surface due to variations in skin color, the measurement accuracy of sensor 101 would be affected if placed there.

In order for the sensor 101 to be placed in a predetermined area on the finger, it is preferred to place the sensor within the predetermined lateral region of the finger. This places the sensor close to the main vessel 211. In one embodiment, the area adjacent to the lateral side is the lateral region. In one embodiment, the lateral region is on the palmer 322 surface of the finger, and close to the lateral side. This can be illustrated by a circle 323. In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, FIG. 4 shows the lateral region of the finger where the sensor 101 is located. FIG. In conjunction with FIGS. 1-3. As shown in FIG. As shown in FIG. In order to get more information about the main blood vessels 211 in one embodiment, the sensor is configured to be placed adjacent to the palmer 322 and underneath the lateral side (i.e. area II or III of FIG.). 4) . The sensor 101 emits and reflects light closer to the main vessel 211. This is a preferred embodiment.

Furthermore the sensor 101 should be placed in a longitudinal direction to minimize the effects of uneven skin color on light passing through skin along the latitudinal directions of the fingers. The longitudinal direction extends from the finger tip to the finger root (or vice versa). The latitudinal is perpendicular and extends around each finger. FIG. According to one embodiment, FIG. 5a shows a configuration for the sensor 101 in relation to a finger. FIG. FIG. 5b shows another configuration of sensor 101 in relation to a finger. This is according to an alternative embodiment. FIGS. In conjunction with FIGS. 1-4. As shown in FIG. As shown in FIG. In a preferred embodiment the sensor 101 is positioned adjacent to the blood vessels 211 on a palmar area 322 beneath the lateral side. The sensor 101 consists of first and second emitters 541-542 (or vice-versa) as well as a light detector 543-544 placed in the longitudinal direction (544), close to the user’s blood vessel, to detect health information via the blood vessels 211. In a preferred embodiment the distance between first light emitter and light detector is substantially equal to the distance between second light emitter and light detector. Referring to FIG. Since the light-emitters 541-542 are smaller than the detectors 543, they are all arranged in the longitudinal direction of the finger 544. The first and second emitters are both arranged on the same side as the detectors 543. In a preferred embodiment the distance between a first light emitter and a light detector is substantially equal to the distance between s second light emitter and s light detector. The claimed subject matter does not limit itself to such details. As one of skill in the art can understand, these are only examples. The first and the second light emitters can be placed on either side of the light sensor, and one or both of them could be arranged over the other.

The accuracy of measurement can be affected by the fact that, as mentioned above, melanin on the dorsal 321 surface of the finger has a significant effect on the absorption rates of first and second light. The arrangement shown in FIG. The sensor 101 has a more compact configuration on one side, and its rotation tolerance is increased within the palmer surface 322 of the sensor around the finger. The light emitter is arranged in the same position as the detector, and the two are positioned along the longitudinal axis. The light emitter, and detector, are arranged in the same direction as the latitudinal axis. If the sensor 101 rotates the finger around, the light is more likely to remain within the palmer area. The light emitters 541-543, which are located along the longitudinal 544, at the palmer area near the lateral side of the finger, will not be affected by the folding as shown in FIG. The palmar surface 545 that is impacted by the folded finger in FIG. 5c will not have any effect on the contact between sensor 101 and finger skin.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. The wearable 100 may also include a matching device 104 that guides the user in wearing the device properly, with the sensor 101 positioned at the desired location. This unit can reduce rotation of the device around the finger 105 when worn for a long time. As shown in FIG. 1, the matching unit comprises at least one unit that extends from the main body 103. 1. In one embodiment, an extending unit is a wing positioned on a side of the main 103. The matching unit 104 can be made of rigid or elastic material, depending on the desired level of fixation. The matching unit 104 is attached to the finger adjacent to the subject finger when the wearable 100 is worn. This helps guide the user in wearing the wearable 100 properly and reduces rotation. In a preferred embodiment of the wearable device, two extending units are used to secure the adjacent finger 106. This increases stability. The matching unit is designed to fit the finger shape to ensure long-term comfort. In an alternative embodiment the matching unit 104 is a loop, with or without an aperture, coupled to the main 103. The loop of the wearable 100 is designed to be worn around the finger adjacent to the finger 105 to help the user wear it properly and to minimize rotation.

FIGS. FIGS. 6a-c show three different types of wearable devices 100, each with a different shape of the matching unit. In FIG. In FIG. In FIG. In FIG. This configuration will make the user feel more comfortable during long-term use of the wearable 100, particularly during sleep. In FIG. In FIG. The matching unit 104 of FIG. 6b is a loop, with or without a hole for coupling the finger adjacent to it. The embodiments shown in FIGS. 6a-c is an example and does not limit the structure or mechanism of the main unit 103 and matching unit 104. In one embodiment, a data-processing unit is coupled to the sensor 101 in the wearable device. In a different embodiment, the sensor can communicate via wired or wireless communication with a processor or server outside for data processing.

In one embodiment, a wearable device 100 comprises a functional component, as shown in Figure 1. The functional component 102 can be removable so that it can be mounted and detachable from the main body of the wearable 100. The user can easily change the main body 103 to fit different fingers while still using the functional component 102. To mount the sensor on a proper finger surface, i.e. being close to palmar surface 322, with a slight offset from the lateral surface, i.e. 20 degrees to fifty degrees, the functional components 102, with the sensor attached to the main bodies 103, are configured so that, when the wearable 100 is worn by the user on their finger 105 the functional component is near the lateral surface. In one embodiment, a functional component 102 can guide the user in wearing the wearable 100 in the correct position. The shape of the functional element 102, for example, is designed to match both the shape and relationship of the index finger to the thumb when the wearable 100 is worn over the index finger.

FIG. According to an embodiment, FIG. 7 illustrates a preferred way of wearing the wearable 100. FIG. Figure 7 is described with FIG. 1. Wearable device 100 can be worn by placing the functional component on the index finger via the main body. The functional component is positioned towards the thumb and its top surface is aligned to the side of the thumb. This will guide the user in wearing the wearable 100 correctly. Wearable device 100 can be worn comfortably and easily on the proximal finger 705 phalange. The matching unit 104 can also be attached to the finger adjacent to the wearable 100 in order to position the device correctly and to reduce rotation, particularly during sleep, of the device.

In one embodiment, wearable device (100) further comprises a configuration for controlling the pressure between wearable device and finger. If the wearable 100 is worn too tightly on the finger, it can block blood flow, which will affect the accuracy of the measurement. Wearing the wearable 100 on the finger too loosely can cause light leakage, which could affect measurement accuracy. FIG. FIG. 8a is a schematic diagram of the wearable 100 device with a control unit for pressure, according to an embodiment. FIG. FIG. 8b is a schematic illustration of the wearable 100 with a different pressure control unit according to a second embodiment. FIGS. FIGS. 8a-b is described with FIG. 1. The examples shown in Figures 8a and 8b are only examples. They do not limit the structure or mechanism of the pressure control unit. The examples in FIGS. 8a and 8b do not restrict the structure or mechanism of the pressure-control unit. As shown in FIG. In FIG. 8a, the main body of the device 103 or the matching unit 104 is embedded with a bendable 871 having a predetermined coefficient for deformation to fit different finger sizes. The bendable unit will apply a clamping force to the finger 105 when the wearable device is placed on it. As shown in FIG. As shown in FIG. 8b, one protrusion 872 is configured on the inner surface 103 of the main body. In one embodiment, a protrusion 872 made of elastic material is used in one embodiment. In one embodiment, at least a portion of the main body is made from elastic material. The wearable device with protrusions 872 provides a pressure in a range that is appropriate for the finger 105 when the wearable 100 is worn with fingers of different sizes. In another embodiment, the tightness is adjustable. A pressure sensor senses the pressure between wearable 100 and finger 105. The user can adjust the tightness of wearable device 100 automatically or manually if the pressure sensor detects that the pressure is greater than or lower than first or second threshold.

FIG. “FIG. 9a shows a schematic drawing for the wearable device with a pressure-control configuration. FIG. FIG. 9b shows how the wearable device 100 works when worn on the fingers, in accordance with the subject embodiment. FIGS. FIGS. 9a-b is described with FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. As shown in FIG.

Furthermore – unlike the conventional fingertip pulse oximeter, the wearable 100 is designed to sit on the base of the fingers. The space between the base of two fingers is much smaller than the space between fingertips. Therefore, the shape and size of the main body may be chosen to create a force that will push the finger toward the sensor 101 without affecting the adjacent finger’s movement when the wearable 100 is worn. In one preferred embodiment the mainbody 103 comprises deformable materials, and the loops of the mainbody 103 are in an ellipse-shaped shape with the axis arranged in a certain direction to produce the target force when the wearable 100 is worn. In one embodiment, the axis is the sensor 101.

Click here to view the patent on Google Patents.